35,000 Choices

Valerie Ferrara

How foolish can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay!
Should the created thing say of the one who made it, "He didn't make me"?
Does a jar ever say, "The potter who made me is stupid"? -- Isaiah 29:16

And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter.
We all are formed by your hand. -- Isaiah 64:8 

"Think about the number 35,000," began Mrs. Alice Drew, Boston Trinity's art teacher, when she spoke to students on Wednesday morning. Outside of the classroom Mrs. Drew is a studio potter with a ceramics studio in Lynn.

Since numbers are relative, the number 35,000 can be a great number or perhaps an insignificant number, Mrs. Drew said. But in this case it represents the number of decisions we make every day – 35,000 choices. She reminded students that we live in a culture where right and wrong are relative. "There is a difference between your conscience and the Holy Spirit," she said. "Who helps you make your decisions?"

Mrs. Drew said that because we are sinful and selfish beings, we will always think about ourselves first; our choices will always affect us. On our own we will not make the right choices; however, we can have the Holy Spirit – a small, quiet voice inside to guide us. "God will always give you a way out," she said. "But guidance from the Holy Spirit will always line up with the Word of God, so if you do not know the Bible you're in trouble. You need to know the Word of God in combination with the Holy Spirit."

She told students a little about her background and how she came to an important place in her own decision-making: was she going to live for Christ or go on pretending? "God is good and He wants good things for us," she encouraged.

Mrs. Drew then gave the captivated students a visual lesson. Holding up both a piece of moist clay and a lump of dried up clay, she told students neither piece was anything as it was – but one was moldable and usable, the other had no life and was useless. She said the dried clay could become moldable again but would need to soak in water for quite some time. Mrs. Drew took the moldable clay and fashioned it into a lovely vase; as she was doing so she was constantly adding water to keep the clay workable. "You can't live your life without Christ, the living water," she said. "Your potential is like the clay. You have the potential for God to do so many things with you. He can make you into a useable vessel."

She closed by asking, "Which are you? Are you the dried up clay, lifeless and unusable even though the potential is still there, or the pliable clay which can be shaped and used?" She exhorted the students to trust God to help them make good choices.